The busy schedules most people have to deal with leave little to no time for cooking. And even if there is time, it’s often too tiring and it can sometimes push people into grabbing their phones and ordering takeout food. So, how to make it easier to have healthy meals on a daily basis? Here are some tips on how to reduce your time in the kitchen and still have a home-cooked meal every day.
Have enough containers on standby
Before you start cooking, be sure to have all the containers you need to store the food in your fridge or freezer once it’s done. Choosing your containers wisely is important, so choose the ones with tight-fitting lids. By keeping the air out of the container, you also keep your meals fresh for a longer time. Mason jars can work well for meal storage, but also plastic containers, preferably with lids that can lock. Square shaped ones take less space in the fridge, while the ones that fit into one another can save kitchen storage space. And get them in various sizes; you don’t want to pack small meals into big containers because the excess air could cause your meals to go bad faster.
Make the most of your freezer
If you go shopping once a week and buy everything in bulk, you can prepare and cook your meals that way, too. As soon as you get back from the store, wash and cut all your meat and veggies, so that you can simply throw them into your pans or pots later. And this is where your new best friend, a Maytag freezer with adjustable shelves comes in. Whether you cook your meals straight away, or you simply chop fresh ingredients, you can freeze them all for later use. This way you can choose to make a huge amount of a certain dish and divide it into portions you can then defrost over the next several months, or to make fresh meals daily, but with pre-chopped ingredients, to save your time. Plus, the adjustable shelves will allow you to fit more containers into your freezer and be economical with your precious space.
Save time with one-pot meals
When you’re low on time, one-pot meals can prove to be lifesavers, especially if your ingredients are already prepared when you start cooking. If they aren’t, use the ones that need minimal preparation, like washed spinach leaves, baby carrots or new potatoes. Just throw all of them into the pot, but be careful with the order in which you add them to your meal. Follow the recipe, since some ingredients take longer to cook than others, and you don’t want half your meal to be overcooked, while the other half is undercooked. You can even make chicken soup with vegetables, and later simply take the meat and the vegetables out and serve them as your main course. There are many options and possibilities, so use the ones that work best for your cooking skills and the time you have. Moreover, with one-pot meals, you’ll have fewer dishes to do after cooking.
Clean your cookware along the way
Don’t wait until everything is cooked and ready to start washing your dishes and other cookware. Standing over at a pan with something inside it simmering is a waste of time. Therefore, start washing, cleaning and putting away your cookware as soon as you can, while waiting those five minutes for your meat to be grilled before you add the carrots, zucchini and artichokes into the mix. By washing and cleaning your cookware immediately after using them, you also avoid dried food residue, which is hard to wash the longer you leave it.
Invest in helpful kitchen tools and appliances
Having a set of quality, sharp knives can save a lot of your nerves. Or better yet, get a food chopper and save a lot of your time as well. If you’re chopping ingredients for a weekly amount of meals, you’ll definitely feel the difference. Not to mention how some appliances can get you out of the kitchen sooner and make your life easier; investing in a slow-cooker, a grill toaster, food processor, or at least a hand blender might be a great idea. And if your pots are a good size, so that you can fit four of them on your cooker at the same time, you can cook several meals at once.
Whether you’re cooking for yourself or a whole family, use these wonderful ideas for spending less time in the kitchen and more time doing the things that you enjoy and being with the people you love, while still maintaining a healthy diet and eating the food you like.